Kercheval, Gholson

Born: 1805-12-04 Mason County, Kentucky

Died: 1875-07-17 San Francisco, California

Kercheval was one of the early settlers in Chicago, Illinois, arriving in the area around 1830. He was among the first three county commissioners of Cook County, taking the oath of office in March 1831. From 1831 to 1833, he was sub-agent of Indian affairs in Chicago, working under Colonel Thomas J. V. Owen, his brother-in-law. During the Black Hawk War, he was captain of the company of militia from Chicago. Kercheval worked as a mediator on behalf of the Sac and Fox nations in their negotiations with the United States government, for which he received $2,000. In November 1833, he married Blanche Felicite Hotchkiss, with whom he had one child. In August 1838, voters in Cook, McHenry, and Will counties elected Kercheval as a Democrat to the Illinois House of Representatives, where he served until 1840. Kercheval and his family moved to California in 1850.

Diana Kercheval Bennett, The Kerchevals in America (n.p., 2003), 182-83; Newton Bateman, Paul Selby, and J. Seymour Currey, eds. Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Hancock County ed. by Charles J. Scofield (Chicago: Munsell, 1921), 1:120; Isaac H. Elliott, Record of the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War, 1831-32, and in the Mexican War, 1846-8 (Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker, 1882), xxiii; Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 324; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and History Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 207.